For teachers as well as students, the month of May is like a beacon shining at the end of the long tunnel of the school year. There is no better time to say “Thank you!” to our community’s teachers, and we have some great ideas for how to say it!
Teacher Appreciation Week is a time to show how much we appreciate all that our teachers do, day in and day out. This year, more than ever before, local teachers deserve our thanks. Whether you agree with the teacher walkout in April 2018 or not, one thing is certain. Teachers make a difference every day.
Teachers are the ones who stand in the gap.
When programs and resources are cut, teachers see valuable experiences for their students coming to an end. Either by scrabbling around for free resources, or by paying for supplies themselves, teachers will make those experiences happen.
Teachers have a bond with their students.
By the end of the school year, a teacher and his or her students have spent 180 days together. As they get to know one another, this bond can become an important source of encouragement, inspiration, and support for them – and it goes both ways!
Teachers plant the seeds of knowledge.
Each school day, teachers perform their primary job of transmitting academic knowledge. Every Nobel Laureate and NASA scientist began their academic journey with a teacher who taught them how to make the letter “A” and the number “1” with a chubby pencil. These humble seeds of knowledge, fed with patience and care by successive teachers, grow into the achievements of the future!
Teacher Appreciation Gift Ideas
I have a lot of teacher friends, so to find out what Teacher Appreciation gifts are on the “Most Wanted List,” I just asked them!
1. From the heart
By far, the #1 request was a personal note or card saying “Thank you!” For many teachers, these personal messages are like water in the desert, and reading them helps to fill up the heart that has poured itself out in service.
“Just a simple and heartfelt thank you card is most appreciated.
I keep all of them in a big box and dig through them during
the summer (or on bad days)!”
2. Practically perfect gifts
Practical gifts, like supplies or gift cards, were the #2 request. With many teachers paying out of their own wages for classroom supplies, a gift card that can be used for classroom needs is perfect. They are easy to purchase and available in a variety of amounts. If you want to make a gift card more unique, you can present the gift card in a creative and Pinterest-ing way, just for fun.
“More than anything, school supplies
or a gift card to a school / crafty place.”
3. Collectively speaking
For a classroom teacher, a group gift maybe organized by students or classroom parents. This has the advantage of costing less for each family, and the teacher gets one nice large gift to enjoy. An example would be a big basket of several items donated by classroom parents according to a theme, such as office supplies, spa/pampering items, or packaged snacks.
“I love getting my favorite snacks . . .
and I also love fun pens, stamps, stickers, notepads, etc.”
4. Partner with your PTO
Often, your school’s Parent-Teacher organization will coordinate special events during Teacher Appreciation Week. I like to participate in these school-wide efforts. Usually the organization will promote a breakfast or luncheon in the teacher lounge, and will ask for donated food and drinks.
Just buying some donuts and juice and dropping it off may not seem like much of an appreciation gift, but when it is joined with the other contributions and framed as a meal to celebrate our all-star educators, it DOES mean a lot to the teachers. Teachers are delighted to be treated to a buffet-style meal where they can just come in, help themselves to goodies, and be the honored guests.
5. Good intentions gone wrong
Most often mentioned as teacher appreciation gifts to AVOID, are apple-themed knickknacks. Space is limited in a classroom and teachers quickly accumulate more “#1 Teacher” mugs than they can ever use. A better choice would be a fruit basket filled with real apples that the teacher can snack on while she is finishing up her grading for the year!
So take a moment to thank your student’s teacher this week. An actual gift is nice, but not necessary. Just hearing those words of gratitude and acknowledgement, for teachers, is a boon to their morale at the end of the school year, when there is so much to get done. Our teachers have gone above and beyond, especially this year, and they deserve a big “THANK YOU!”